More than 200 of Hillsborough County’s top high school seniors from 35 public and private schools accepted an invitation to share their accomplishments and take part in an essay contest through the 2020 R.F. “Red” Pittman Tribune Scholars program. Their profiles and essays are published here, just as the students submitted them. To search all schools, click here.
School activities and accomplishments:
1. Team Captain of Speech and Debate, Carrollwood Day School Chapter. As Team Captain, I competed nationally in the category of Original Oratory, led meetings, arranged induction ceremonies, taught training sessions to judge competition, and coached upcoming students.
2. Sixth Place in Original Oratory at the National Yale University Invitational Speech and Debate Tournament.
3. Founder and Co-President of Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), Carrollwood Day School Chapter. We strive to promote career opportunities in the healthcare industry and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people. I led meetings and organized popsicle fundraisers to buy resources for the club members at the HOSA competitions.
4. Volunteer Researcher at the University of South Florida to partake in the development of a vaccination for Plasmodium vivax (P.vivax) Malaria. In a Molecular Parasitology Lab, I assist in the production and purification of Duffy Binding Protein II (DBPII) Antigen (a potential vaccine candidate).
5. Led a fundraiser and raised nearly $2,000 for the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation through a snow cone fundraiser at Carrollwood Day School.
6. Annually volunteer for one month at an old-age home in Hyderabad, India.
College or other post-high school plans: I will attend Dartmouth College in the fall to study Chemistry. Currently, I aspire to be an Interventional Radiologist.
Tribune Scholars Essay
Over the course of my 18-year life, climate change has evolved from a polarizing topic to a vast cooperative research investigation. As expected, rising sea levels have captivated substantial interest of policymakers. The course of action we adapt to mitigate the effects of climate change will decide our future. Therefore, both actions - shoreline armoring and retreating inland, should be utilized wherever applicable. Furthermore, a hybrid system is essential to fund the process.
Waterfront properties, salvageable with shoreline armoring, should be preserved for historical significance and to limit displacement. However, if flooding should be a threat to human life, it is necessary to retreat inland. These changes may be theoretically sound, but they are quite expensive. Normally, waterfront properties have high home insurance due to weather risks. The homeowner, government, and home insurance companies could collectively finance the course of action required. Consequently, the burden would not fall on one system or person.
Finally, it is not necessary that the government buy out property owners in flood-prone areas. Each home is accompanied with a flood plan; people are forewarned about the risks associated with the property. Some may decide to enjoy the water regardless of the liabilities, so why should the government be responsible for that decision? Why should the government, which will solely use taxpayer’s money, buy a property which may be of no future use? Although the intentions may be commendable, people can stay safe with shoreline armoring or retreating inland, funded by a hybrid system.
School activities and accomplishments:
- 2018 Soccer Florida Presidents Cup State Champion and High School Varsity Soccer Captain for the 2019-2020 season
- Competed at the 2019 Health Occupations Students of America District Competition, an event where teenage future health professionals demonstrate their knowledge of health sciences
- Senior Member of National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta
- Recipient of the 2018 Tampa Bay Princeton Club Book Award
- Recipient of multiple Academic Achievement Awards (for highest GPA) in History, Spanish, and Chemistry
- One of two recipients from each state across the U.S. of the 2016 President’s Award and Scholarship, given for outstanding academic achievement and excellence of character
College or other post-high school plans:
Desiring to pursue a degree in Biomedical Engineering / Biomedical Sciences and continue education in medical school. College undecided.
Tribune Scholars Essay
Our beautiful state of Florida faces an increasingly dangerous threat to its future. This threat comes as a result of the detrimental human activity that began with the rise of the industrial revolution. Global warming is causing the sea levels surrounding Florida to rise at a rapidly accelerating rate. According to the Florida Oceans and Council Committee, three-fourths of all Floridians live less than 60 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, in counties that comprise 79% of the state’s economy. Given the monetary and economic benefit of these flood-endangered areas, I believe it is imperative that we armor our shores against these rising waters. A built-up defense against flood damage could include the implementation of height regulations for new and pre-existing buildings, with those areas that are closest to the coastline being the state’s top priority. It is simply nonsensical to abandon these coastal areas; doing so would eliminate lucrative tourism and harm the real estate industry. I believe that the cost burden of this work should be shared between the state government and the property owner, with earnest money from the property owner being compensated through mitigated property taxes and reduced home insurance rates. These reductions will act as an incentive for property owners, encouraging them to renovate their homes, and for local businesses to meet safer, flood-combatting regulations. This approach will eliminate both the undesirable cost and necessity for the government to buy out property owners in flood-prone areas, helping Florida become more resilient against threatening, rising waters.